Arizona State Pitcher Mike Leake Named A Semifinalist For The Dick Howser Trophy
May 14, 2009
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Arizona State University junior right hander Mike Leake has been named a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy, awarded annually to the top player in collegiate baseball. The award is presented by the College Baseball Foundation. Leake is one of 16 semifinalists.
Leake (Fallbrook, Calif.) is 12-1 with a 1.47 ERA for the Sun Devils. He leads the Pac-10 in victories, strike outs (104) and innings pitcher (97.2) and he has also tossed four complete games. Leake was recently named an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VIII selection for the second consecutive year and a semifinalist for the Pitcher of the Year Award. He was the 2008 Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year and a semifinalist for the Roger Clemens Award.
The 16 candidates hail from nine different conferences and 16 different schools. Nine different positions afield, including four pitchers, join one designated hitter and a utility player among this diversified group.
The Dick Howser Trophy, given in memory of the former Florida State University All-America shortstop and major league player and manager who died of brain cancer in 1987, is regarded by many as college baseball's most prestigious award.
Criteria for consideration for the trophy include performance on the field, leadership, moral character and courage, qualities that were exemplified by Dick Howser's life.
A Florida native, Howser was twice an All-America shortstop at Florida State University (1957-58), then coached the Seminoles in 1979 after a career as a major league player and coach. After one year in the college ranks, Howser returned to the majors to manage the New York Yankees and Kansas City Royals and won the World Series with the Royals in 1985. The baseball stadium on the Florida State campus is named for Howser.
The winner's name is inscribed on the permanent trophy, a bronze bust of Howser displayed at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg - home of the defending American League champion Tampa Bay Rays and the 1999 NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four - along with several other locations. Both the winner and his school receive a special trophy to keep.
The Howser Trophy was created in 1987, shortly after Howser's death. Previous winners of the Howser Trophy are Mike Fiore, Miami, 1987; Robin Ventura, Oklahoma State, 1988; Scott Bryant, Texas, 1989; Alex Fernandez, Miami-Dade Community College South, 1990; Frank Rodriguez, Howard College (Texas), 1991; Brooks Kieschnick, Texas, 1992 and 1993; Jason Varitek, Georgia Tech, 1994; Todd Helton, Tennessee, 1995; Kris Benson, Clemson, 1996; J. D. Drew, Florida State, 1997; Eddy Furniss, LSU, 1998; Jason Jennings, Baylor, 1999; Mark Teixeira, Georgia Tech, 2000; Mark Prior, P, USC, 2001, Khalil Greene, SS, Clemson, 2002; Rickey Weeks, 2B, Southern U., 2003; Jered Weaver, P, Long Beach State, 2004; Alex Gordon, 3B, Nebraska, 2005; Brad Lincoln, P/DH, Houston, 2006; David Price, P, Vanderbilt, 2007 and Buster Posey, C, Florida State.
2009 DICK HOWSER TROPHY SEMIFINALISTS
Dustin Ackley, North Carolina
Matt Alexander, Air Force
Kyle Bellamy, Miami (Fla.)
Troy Channing, St. Mary's (Calif.)
Cody Hawn, Tennessee
Chris Henderson, George Mason
Mike Leake, Arizona State
Bryan Marquez, New Mexico State
OF Kent Matthes, Alabama
Derek McCallum, Minnesota
Tommy Mendonca, Fresno State
A.J. Morris, Kansas State
Rich Poythress, Georgia
Brooks Raley, Texas A&M
Anthony Rendon, Rice
Stephen Strasburg, San Diego State